3 Unbreakable rules of recruiting

Josh Stein spills his recruiting secrets to Reena Jadhav at Splash

Lessons learned from investor by Reena A Jadhav
May 19, 2013
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Recruiting right is clearly one of the top three priorities of any startup executive. In the first few years it can be the difference between survival and death of a venture. So how do you ensure you have the right strategy, processes and tactics in place?

Josh Stein shares his unbreakable rules of recruiting in this interview with Reena Jadhav. His three main rules are:

1. Hire Athletes and not Experts Hire really smart people as opposed to experts. Reason is that startups change and pivot, often a number of times. Really smart people can morph and adapt but often experts get left behind. This is especially true in the early years when the company is still figuring it out.

2. Look for Instrinsic Motivation Recruit people who are self motivated rather than motivated by making money or the latest cool fad. Find people passionate about the mission or the product. Reason is that people in it for a quick buck tend to loose interest quickly and you need to hire for the long haul.

3. Hire No Jerks Never hire abrasive people or jerks. Even if they are great at their job they take away energy from others and create negativity. How do you spot a jerk in an interview? They are the ones saying everyone they have ever worked with is stupid! Follow your gut, look for people with whom you would want to spend three to four hours on a flight.Reena Jadhav asks whether startups should hire a recruiter or not, given the critical importance of recruiting to the success of a venture. 

Watch the interview for Josh’s insights on this question from startups like Box.

Parting rule: Hire people who can scale beyond the current stage but also deliver at a small scale. Example, someone who can manage 5 to 50 people. Often those managing 500 currently have a hard time scaling down to managing

5. You can connect with Reena Jadhav on Linkedin at

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Bio: Josh Stein is a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, where his investments include, Eventful, Fynanz, GoodGuid...
Bio: Reena Jadhav is a 4 time entrepreneur (, Conduit, JobFlash, Riiwards), now working on, start-up Advisor...